10 Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil for Dogs: Read This First!
In case you’ve been living under a rock, CBD has become one of the biggest wellness crazes in recent memory. Cannabis compounds were illegal until only recently, and CBD was the first to receive the praise and attention that helped to catapult it to its current popularity. It was only a matter of time until this wellness craze spread to our pets, and that time has come.
Today, you can find all manner of CBD products created specifically for pets, including treats, tinctures, and even toys. CBD is touted as a safe and natural compound for any adult to take, but is it the same for our dogs? Let’s take a closer look at CBD for dogs and the potential side effects that it may cause before you go and start offering CBD treats to your favorite canine compadre.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol; a compound that’s found in cannabis and hemp. Cannabis is quite famous for its psychoactive effects, but cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound. This means that CBD doesn’t produce any high like other cannabis products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC.
Within cannabis, THC is the main component that produces the psychoactive sensations, but CBD provides many of the other positive effects that the cannabis plant is known to provide, such as a host of medical benefits.
Image Credit: iAmMrBenjamin, Shutterstock
Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?
CBD has been proven to provide positive benefits for people. For instance, it’s used to treat epilepsy, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the World Health Organization, “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” But this is in regards to humans, which leaves us to wonder how safe CBD is for our dogs.
Currently, testing is ongoing. Groups like the AKC Canine Health Foundation are sponsoring studies about CBD’s effect on dogs, though there’s no definitive answer yet as to its efficacy or safety. However, according to PubMed, CBD has not been shown to be detrimental in healthy dogs.
10 Potential Side Effects of CBD for Dogs
Despite CBD’s purported benefits for people and relative safety, there are some side effects that your dog might suffer as a result of this compound; particularly if given too much.
1. Dry Mouth
Many people are aware that cannabis can cause cottonmouth in people, but CBD can also have a similar effect on your dog. While it might be gross that your dog drools everywhere, that slobber is actually important for their health. If CBD causes your dog’s mouth to become dry, it can result in poor dental health, bad breath, and even cause pain when swallowing.
Another common side effect of cannabis use in people is drowsiness or laziness. Though CBD doesn’t contain any THC, your dog could still show signs of lethargy when dosed with CBD. Generally, this is due to a dose that’s too large, so if your dog gets drowsy after a dose of CBD, you might want to reduce the dosage size.
Image Credit: Pixabay
CBD can also cause dizziness in your dog. You’ll have to look for signs that indicate your dog is dizzy, such as trouble standing up or repeated falling over. This can easily occur if the CBD you’re using isn’t pure and contains trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive substance in cannabis that causes the “high” that users experience. While this might be pleasurable for some people, it might not be such a thrill for your pup.
4. Increased Tremors
One of the main reasons people administer CBD to themselves or their pets is to treat epileptic seizures. As such, you might think that it’s a good compound to help with Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, CBD has the potential to increase the tremors associated with Parkinson’s, in both humans and canines.
You might notice that your dog tends to scratch, bite, and itch a lot after being dosed with CBD. If so, then you’ll either want to reduce the dosage or cease it altogether. While this isn’t a particularly common side effect, it’s certainly possible, and it’s something you should be on the lookout for.
Image Credit: Zivica Kerkez, Shutterstock
6. Low Blood Pressure
CBD has been shown to cause temporary drops in blood pressure when administered in high doses. This can cause light-headedness, which your dog won’t appreciate. Since this is usually dose-dependent, reducing the amount you’re giving to your dog should help to eliminate this side effect.
7. Upset Stomach
Anything your dog isn’t used to consuming can cause an upset stomach. Even switching dog foods will wreak havoc on many dogs’ stomachs. CBD is no different, and especially in high doses, it can cause quite a lot of discomfort for your canine.
When stomach discomfort is taken to the extreme, it can often induce vomiting. This could be as a result of the compound itself, or it might just be from the taste. CBD is a rather bitter substance and your dog may not like the taste of it. But if the CBD upsets your dog’s stomach enough, they’ll likely throw it back up.
Image Credit: Mumemories, Shutterstock
It can be hard to pinpoint CBD as the culprit when your dog has diarrhea since so many things can cause diarrhea in dogs. But if you’ve removed all other variables and narrowed your dog’s diarrhea down to the CBD you’ve given them, then you’ll either need to reduce the dosage or refrain from giving your dog CBD.
10. Inhibited Production of Liver Enzymes
CBD can affect the way your body metabolizes other drugs because it inhibits the production of liver enzymes. As a result, other drugs can become several times more potent, which can lead to accidental overdose; a deadly occurrence that you’ll need to take care to avoid. If your dog is currently taking other medications, be sure to get veterinary approval before adding CBD to its regimen.
Though CBD is considered safe for humans and even for dogs in most cases, it can have side effects for both of us. While we can decide if the possibility of side effects is worth the potential benefits we could see from taking CBD, your dog can’t make that decision. You have to decide what’s best for your dog. So, keep in mind all of the potential side effects your dog might suffer before you decide to dose them with CBD. And it’s always a good idea to get your vet’s professional opinion first.
- You may also want to read: Relievet CBD Dog Treats Review 2022: Our Expert’s Opinion
Featured Image Credit: Erin Stone, Pixabay
Lead Pet Expert & Pet-ditor in Chief
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
8 Potential Side Effects of CBD in Dogs
Cannabidiol (a.k.a. “CBD oil”) is one of the hottest supplements on the market today, as it’s used for everything, from pain management to seizure reduction. It’s even starting to be used on dogs, and many owners swear by it for reducing inflammation, nausea, and anxiety.
While CBD oil is found in marijuana, it’s most often taken from the hemp plant, which means that it doesn’t contain the psychoactive compounds found in regular cannabis. Your dog shouldn’t get high from CBD oil, but they should start feeling incredible after taking it — at least, that’s the idea.
Even though CBD oil doesn’t come from marijuana, there are still side effects that you should be aware of before you start giving it to your dog. This list will walk you through common ones.
A Quick Disclaimer Before We Begin
CBD oil is a fairly new product, and as such, there have been few studies performed on it — and virtually none that focus on dogs. As a result, most of the side effects below have been noticed in humans rather than dogs.
Also, while there haven’t been any reports that we can find of serious issues arising from the use of CBD oil on dogs, there have yet to be any credible long-term studies done on its safety for pets.
The 8 Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil in Dogs
1. Drowsiness from CBD
Drowsiness can actually be a welcome side effect, especially if you’re using the CBD oil to treat anxiety. However, some dogs can become extremely lethargic, to the point that it can become an issue worth discussing with your vet.
If your dog is sleeping more than 10 hours a day or if you haven’t seen them act as active and vibrant as they used to, it may be time to eliminate the use of CBD oil (or at least lower the dose).
Image credit: Orawan Pattarawimonchai, Shutterstock
2. Dizziness from CBD
Some pups may occasionally make themselves dizzy (especially if their tails feel like taunting them), but in general, dizziness is a bad sign in dogs. If you see your dog struggling to maintain their balance or falling occasionally, then you should stop giving them CBD oil until your vet can take a look at them.
Dizziness may be a sign that your CBD oil has THC in it, and THC is very bad for dogs. You may need to find a new brand of CBD oil if your dog has trouble maintaining its balance and coordination.
3. Dry Mouth from CBD
You may think that your slobbery pooch could never have a dry mouth, but this is actually one of the most common CBD oil side effects. It’s not a good one either, as your dog’s saliva is extremely important to their dental health.
If you notice that your dog isn’t slobbery anymore, you should discontinue using CBD oil, at least until you find one that doesn’t cause this side effect. You should also encourage your dog to drink more water, but that’s only a band-aid rather than a cure.
4. Vomiting from CBD
As you might expect, vomiting is never a good thing, and it may be a sign that your dog is struggling to tolerate CBD oil. However, it may also just be a sign that your dog doesn’t care for the taste, especially if the vomiting is triggered by eating grass after a dose.
You may want to try switching brands before cutting the CBD oil entirely, but if the vomiting continues, it’s a sure sign that your dog can’t handle this particular supplement.
Image credit: suchinan, Shutterstock
5. Diarrhea from CBD
Much like vomiting, diarrhea is usually a bad sign. The two symptoms often go hand-in-hand, which are bad news for your dog and worse news for your carpet. However, diarrhea can be caused by a bunch of different factors, so you can’t necessarily pin it on the CBD oil without doing some process of elimination first.
If your dog’s diarrhea doesn’t clear up after a few days and you can’t locate another possible culprit, discontinue the CBD oil, and consult your vet.
6. Worsening of Tremors from CBD
This side effect has only been noticed in humans so far (specifically, sufferers of Parkinson’s Disease), but there’s a risk that your dog could be affected. Dogs can suffer from neurological diseases too, and uncontrollable tremors are one of the symptoms.
If you’re giving your dog CBD oil to counteract these symptoms, make sure that it’s not actually making things worse. Also, start slowly, using less than the recommended dosage, and gradually increase it. This allows you plenty of time to monitor your dog for additional tremors.
7. Itching from CBD
Some dogs experience skin irritation as a result of taking CBD oil, so watch and make sure your dog isn’t scratching or biting themselves more than usual. In some cases, they can rub the skin raw, so it’s important to nip this behavior in the bud before it gets out of control.
Itching isn’t a serious side effect, but it can certainly make your pooch less comfortable, so you still want to avoid it if at all possible.
Image credit: kobkik, Shutterstock
8. Interactions With Other Drugs
If your dog takes other medications, talk to your vet before you start giving your pup CBD oil. The oil can make prescription drugs much more potent, which can then cause liver damage or increase the risk of an overdose, even if you’re using a dosage that your dog has been able to tolerate in the past.
This is one of the most serious CBD oil side effects, so don’t take any chances with it. Your doctor should be able to tell you if using the oil is safe for your dog or if you need to change the dosages of your mutt’s other medications.
CBD Side Effects in Dogs
CBD oil has shown some promise in treating a variety of conditions in dogs, and it’s understandable that you’d want to see if it will help your pup. However, it’s not something to be taken lightly, so be careful when using it, as you don’t want your dog experiencing any of the side effects on this list.
As long as you follow the directions and use a reputable product, your dog should likely be fine. Just to be on the safe side, though, always talk to your vet before changing your dog’s diet or supplement routine.
You might also like:
Featured Image Credit: iAmMrBenjamin, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway, and Baby, a Burmese cat. Originally from Canada, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. Nicole has a strong love for all animals and has experience caring for all types of dogs, from Yorkies to Great Danes. Nicole even worked as a dog sitter during her travels through South America and cared for stray pups — something she holds close to her heart.
With a degree in Education and a love for writing, Nicole aims to share her and others’ expert knowledge with pet lovers worldwide with Hepper.
The 7 Most Common Side Effects of CBD Oil in Dogs
Side effects of CBD oil in dogs are rare but not impossible to occur. The most common ones include diarrhea, vomiting, drowsiness, and itching.
CBD has the potential to make your pooch calmer, healthier, and alleviate its pain. But if your fur baby is new to it, it might take some time to get accustomed to thе new supplement.
In any case, side effects are rare but possible, so knowing how to react is crucial.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound in the cannabis plant. In recent years, it’s gained a lot of fame for its calming and pain-soothing effects. People love it. They claim to sleep and feel better when taking CBD.
But is CBD good for dogs?
Well, research is pretty limited. But you can find plenty of anecdotal evidence from pet owners. They claim the extract has brought new strength to their aging puppies, helped them with arthritis, and even decreased the occurrence of seizures.
What’s more, nowadays, you can find CBD in many forms — oils, tinctures, peanut butter, chewable, and even in some of the best calming treats for dogs.
On top of that, there aren’t many side effects. But as with any new edible, you should be careful how much you give to your fluffy friend. Even though CBD has no serious side effects, some still might affect your pup.
Is CBD Toxic for Dogs?
No, CBD isn’t toxic for dogs. But THC, which is the psychoactive compound in cannabis, is.
When discussing CBD toxicity for a dog, most pet parents are worried that their puppy might get high or even die. But don’t confuse THC with CBD. You should never give dogs THC-containing products, but CBD can be a fantastic addition to their diet.
Still, it’s worth mentioning that it’s a legal requirement for all hemp products to contain 0.3% or less THC. So if your dog eats a lot of CBD biscuits or oils, it might get some mild THC toxicity. The chances of that happening are really low, though.
Side Effects of CBD Oil in Dogs
Dog owners report that cannabidiol helps their dogs’ anxiety and depression. CBD oil for dog aggression could also help as it calms down pups and makes them less reactive to stressful stimuli.
As we mentioned, CBD doesn’t come with serious or life-threatening side effects. But like any other supplement, it can sometimes cause adverse reactions. So let’s see what these might be.
One of the side effects of too much CBD oil in dogs is vomiting. Cannabidiol has a bitter taste, and not all puppies like it.
To determine if the CBD causes your doggy’s vomiting, watch your pet closely for an hour after giving it the oil.
If your pup is persistently rejecting the oil or making disgusted faces, consider trying flavored CBD. Sadly, this cannabis oil side effect isn’t that rare, and some pups never get used to the taste.
One of the CBD tincture effects you might encounter is dog allergies. Like people, our puppers can be allergic to almost anything, so a CBD allergy is a possibility, too.
If your pup starts scratching itself after you’ve given it some CBD, maybe it has a CBD allergy. But you can’t be sure that’s the cause. Dog allergy testing kits can be helpful in such moments.
One of the most common CBD oil side effects on dogs includes a dry mouth and increased thirst. That’s because CBD can decrease saliva production, causing your pup to feel thirsty and a bit uncomfortable.
But this side effect is usually gone within a few days.
Another one of the negative side effects of CBD your dog might experience is lethargy. It can happen because of the CBD calming properties. Also, if the dose you’ve given your pet is a bit too much, your dog might become sleepy and drowsy.
It’s only temporary and can easily be fixed by lowering the dose.
Can CBD Oil Cause Diarrhea or an Upset Stomach?
If your pup has a sensitive stomach, CBD is likely to cause some problems at first. Like any new food or supplement, CBD oil can upset the stomach. So take it slowly and start with a low dose.
Another thing that might help your dog’s upset stomach is breaking up the daily CBD dosage by morning and evening.
Inhibited Production of Liver Enzymes
Some studies have shown that CBD can inhibit the production of some liver enzymes responsible for drug metabolism. This means that the drugs your pup is taking might either be absorbed faster or not at all — one of the dangers of CBD for dogs.
It’s not a side effect but a reminder to always talk with your vet if you want to start your pet on a new product. Especially if your doggy is already taking a prescription drug, cannabidiol side effects might be more severe. Call your vet. They’re there to help you.
Low Blood Pressure
Some Holistapet reviews (a reputable CBD pet brand) reported lowered blood pressure in their pup after taking CBD. The effect might cause light-headedness, but it’s dose-dependent.
You should administer cannabinoids for dogs in specific doses for your pup’s size and condition. If you’re unsure about the correct CBD dosage for dogs, check with the CBD brand’s customer support.
How to Counter the Effects of Too Much CBD in Your Dog
Even though the CBD side effects aren’t usually significant, they can still occur. So it’s good to know how to react if you need to. After all, watching your pet struggle can be hard.
Here are our tips for managing the CBD oil for dogs side effects:
- Hydration — When you give too much CBD to your dog, it’ll likely experience a dry mouth. Make sure you provide plenty of water and wet food to keep it hydrated.
- Bland diet — If your dog’s tummy is upset due to the CBD, put it on a diet for a day or two. Some rice can help with diarrhea.
- Let your dog sleep it off — But how long do the effects of CBD oil last in a dog? Usually, not long. So, if your dog is feeling drowsy, let it sleep and rest. Pretty soon, it’ll be back to its usual energetic self.
- Decrease dosage — To avoid future side effects of CBD oil in dogs, make sure you introduce the cannabinoid slowly. If your pooch is experiencing side effects, the dose is probably too high for its current tolerance.
- Give CBD at mealtime — One of the best ways to decrease the chance of side effects is to give your pup the best CBD treats for dogs. Since they come with other ingredients, they get metabolized slowlier. You can also give the oil at mealtime with the same result.
Can dogs have bad reactions to CBD? Even though it’s unlikely, some pups do suffer from side effects when starting CBD. But these are never deadly.
Some CBD adverse reactions in your doggy might include upset tummy, vomiting, dry mouth, and drowsiness. They’re often a result of improper dosage. But if they persist, you might want to cease the CBD use for a few days.
It’s good to know how to react to CBD side effects if they happen. A bland diet, lots of water, and a night of good sleep are often enough to make your puppy feel good again.But there’s no need to worry. Side effects of CBD oil in dogs aren’t severe and go away soon.
Miglena loves spending time with friends and talking about science over a glass of wine. Born and raised in a small town, she’s always been surrounded by animals. Cats, dogs, chickens, cows, and goats have all been her companions from an early age. Her passion for the animal kingdom became even stronger after she went to study microbiology in Scotland. Miglena’s love for writing, combined with her curiosity, makes her a valuable member of the pawsome advice team.